KARACHI: Federal Human Rights Minister Riaz Hussain Pirzada on Sunday claimed that former director general of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) retired Lt Gen Faiz Hameed wanted to bring members of the outlawed Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) back to the country.

The statement from the minister came a day after PTI leader Dr Shireen Mazari claimed that ex-army chief retired Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa wanted to “resettle” the TTP members in the country.

Talking to Nadir Guramani on DawnNewsTV, Mr Pirzada claimed that an in-camera briefing was held in which army generals had proposed to bring TTP back to Pakistan. “However, (Foreign Minister) Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari and (Prime Minister) Shehbaz Sharif talked on it … they said that a number of popular leaders were martyred by TTP, including Benazir Bhutto sahiba,” he said.

In response to a question regarding who made this proposition, the minister said: “At that time, Gen Faiz had suggested that they [TTP] should be brought into the mainstream but it backfired.”

On Saturday, Mr Pirzada’s predecessor, PTI leader Dr Mazari categorically rejected the perception that the resettlement was the idea of former prime minister Imran Khan.

Ms Mazari’s remarks contradicted the statement of former PM Khan who in an address earlier this month defended “his plan” to resettle the TTP fighters. He had said that after the takeover, some 30,000 to 40,000 Pakistani tribal fighters wanted to come back and his government had two options: either kill them or reach an agreement to settle them in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Riaz Pirzada claims generals’ suggestion at a meeting was opposed by premier and FM

On the cases of mob lynching, Mr Pirzada said these incidents have been influenced by external elements. “People criticise me but it’s reality … that our hostile neighbour across the border exploits [these incidents] through propaganda machines,” he said while referring to India whom he claimed uses its network of embassies to use these cases against Pakistan.

On the issue of missing persons, the minister said these cases are linked to the overall law and order situation. He added that there are “two sides” to these cases as in some instances, those perceived as missing willingly go into mountains or foreign countries.

Talking about the progress on tracing the missing persons, the minister said a lot of cases are now being referred to courts.

Talking about Islamabad’s F-9 Park rape case, Mr Pirzada said the foremost way to prevent such attacks was the proper upbringing of children at home.

Published in Dawn, February 20th, 2023

Opinion

Editorial

Budget and politics
Updated 14 Jun, 2024

Budget and politics

PML-N, scared of taking bold steps lest it loses whatever little public support it has, has left its traditional support — traders — virtually untouched.
New talks?
14 Jun, 2024

New talks?

WILL this prove another false start, or may we expect a more sincere effort this time? Reference is made to the...
A non-starter
14 Jun, 2024

A non-starter

WHILE the UN Security Council had earlier this week adopted a US-backed resolution calling for a ceasefire in Gaza...
Budget for stabilisation
Updated 13 Jun, 2024

Budget for stabilisation

The proposed steps lack any “disruptive policy changes", especially to "right-size" the govt, and doubts remain on authorities' ability to enforce new measures.
State of the economy
13 Jun, 2024

State of the economy

THE current fiscal year is but another year lost. Going by the new Pakistan Economic Survey, which maps the state of...
Unyielding onslaught
Updated 13 Jun, 2024

Unyielding onslaught

SEVEN soldiers paid the ultimate price in Lakki Marwat on Sunday when their vehicle was blown up in an IED attack,...